Designing Appropriate Aquaponic Systems for Off-Grid Communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering


This research will consider the design, construction, acceptability and maintenance of aquaponics systems for off-grid communities both in the UK and in less economically developed countries (LEDCs) along with the development of low-cost, appropriate water quality test methods.
With high rates of malnutrition in many LEDCs, there is a need for an appropriate solution that utilizes land and water resources more efficiently to improve availability and accessibility of food. Hydroponics is an agricultural technology where plants are grown in a soilless culture and are fed a nutrient solution made to cater for plant needs. Aquaponics combines traditional hydroponics with aquaculture, using fish waste as the source of the nutrients supplied to the plants. Aquaponic systems have an additional need for a filtration unit to process waste water from fish to provide ideal nutrients for the plant. Due to the differing needs of fish and plants aquaponic systems are hard to optimize for both fish and plants.
This research will consider the design, construction acceptability and maintenance of aquaponic systems by characterizing flow behaviour within low-cost filtration systems along with the ability of these systems to remove suspended solid matter, bacterial and other pollutants. With the need that technology is appropriate for use in LEDCs as well as off-grid communities in the UK, the systems must be designed to meet criteria including performance, removal of bacteria, nitrogen compounds and other chemicals, measuring water quality, cost, availability of materials and simplicity of construction/operation.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N50970X/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1931188 Studentship EP/N50970X/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 Andrew Thomas Henshaw